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Bangladesh priest arrested over rape settlement

February 24th, 2011

Bangladesh police have arrested Catholic priest, Father Bernard Tudu, and nine other people over their alleged involvement in an out-of-court settlement concerning the rape of a young indigenous woman.

The “settlement” that followed the rape of Serafina Mardi led her to commit suicide at Godagari upazila in Rajshahi, the Daily Star reports.

The other persons arrested are indigenous community leaders, including, Bishwanath Tudu of Shimla who allegedly presided over the settlement, said Zakirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Godagari Police Station.

Ataur Rahman, sub-inspector of Kakonhat investigation centre, filed a case with Godagari Police Station in this connection last night.

According to the case statement, the accused persons “provoked” Serafina Mardi, the 14-year-old indigenous girl, to commit suicide.

She died on Monday, two days after she had set herself on fire failing to stand the humiliation. Nine indigenous men raped her on April 4 last year.

Although Father Bernard Tudu was not present during the settlement, he handed over a sum to Serafina’s family in compensation as per the settlement, the case statement further said.



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